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CCR is a collaborative effort among the California Department of Public Health, Cancer Surveillance Section (CSS), the Public Health Institute, the Regional Registries, health care providers, cancer registrars, and cancer researchers throughout California and the nation. CSS collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on cancer incidence and mortality. The statewide population-based cancer surveillance system monitors the incidence and mortality of specific cancers over time and analyzes differential risks of cancer by geographic region, age, race/ethnicity, sex, and other social characteristics of the population. It gathers cancer incidence data through CCR, and conducts and collaborates with other researchers on special cancer research projects concerning the etiology, treatment, risk factors, and prevention of specific cancers. In addition, the system is designed to monitor patient survival with respect to the type of cancer, extent of disease, therapy, demographics, and other parameters of prognostic importance. In general, data generated from CCR is utilized to:
- Monitor the amount of cancer and cancer incidence trends by geographic area and time in order to detect potential cancer problems of public health significance in occupational settings and the environment, and to assist in their investigation;
- Provide information to stimulate the development and targeting of resources to benefit local communities, cancer patients, and their families;
- Promote high quality research into epidemiology and clinical medicine by enabling population-based studies to be performed to provide better information for cancer control;
- Inform health professionals and educate citizens regarding specific health risks, early detection, and treatment for cancers known to be elevated in their communities; and
- Respond to public concerns and questions about cancer.
Legislation declaring cancer to be a mandatorily reported disease in California became effective in 1985. Beginning in January 1988, under the Statewide Cancer Reporting Law (Section 103885 of the Health and Safety Code), CCR has covered the entire population of California through the regional population-based registries.